Tet Showers!
Hot and Cold
by: Doc Bunner
© 1998

Phu Bai - Tet 1968

I have a hot-versus-cold story I would like to share with everyone. I was the newbie to my outfit in Hue during the Tet Offensive of 1968. We had just pulled back to Phu Bai to regroup, etcetra. The first thing that everyone had in mind was to get some hot cooked food after getting our barracks hootch. As I was getting ready to leave enmass with everyone else to go get the food, Doc Tura and the radioman called out to me to wait-up, that they needed to talk with me. I sure was anxious for that hot food but decided friends were more important at that time.
      They waited until everyone was gone then asked me "Doc, Do you really want hot food right now or would you like a hot shower?" At first I thought that they had flipped out and here I am with a couple of ???? They saw the look of uncertainy on my face and cracked up laughing. They then told me that the hot water was turned off at a certain time and when the hot water was gone it would be ice cold. Well, I told them "Let's go for the hot water, I sure could stand a long leisurely shower." So off we go to the showers, envisioning those others getting the cold showers, etcetra.
      Well, we had a long hot soak, then decided "Now we're ready for that hot food." We're laughing and joking around as we go over to the messhall to get the HOT CHOW as we're anticipating the others getting their cold shower. We get quiet as we get near the messhall and get what the others laughing and yelling, "The leftovers!" We were getting ribbed about being late for supper, the whole bit. We didn't say anything, but started chuckling in anticipation when the first of them hit the showers. We were about halfway through eating (best food I had in a long time or at least it seemed) when all at once there was a big shout from the shower area, "Hey . . . Where's all the @!*&%)# hot water!?"
      Did we ever start chortling then---I almost had to have the Heimlich manuver done on me because I almost choked on a piece of meat, but managed to get it cleared. Later on all those guys who had ribbed us admitted that we did indeed have the last laugh on them. Heh-heh-heh.


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